the appetizer:

The Fine Cooking Annual Volume 3 from the experts at Fine Cooking Magazine, presents chef-inspired recipes like Garden Lettuces with Garlic Chapons; Cavatappi with No-Cook Tomato Sauce; and Braised Cod with Fennel, Potatoes & Littlenecks.



Braised Cod
with Fennel, Potatoes & Littlenecks

Serves four


The subtle flavor of fresh fennel (also called anise) gets a boost from anisette liqueur, giving the whole dish a delicious French feel. Crusty garlic bread is perfect for soaking up the flavorful sauce. You could use halibut in place of the cod.

Braised Cod with Fennel, Potatoes & Littlenecks

  • Four 5-ounce cod fillets (preferably 1-inch thick)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small fennel bulb (about 3/4 pound),
  • trimmed (leave core intact) and cut into 1/2-inch wedges,
  • plus 1 tablespoon chopped fronds for garnish
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium-large shallot, chopped
  • Two 8-ounce bottles clam juice
  • 8 ounces small baby red or fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and sliced
  • into 1/8-inch-thick coins, ends discarded (about 6 potatoes)
  • 1 large tomato, cut into small dice (12 ounces, about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons anisette liqueur, such as Pernod or Sambuca
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon roughly chopped or coarsely ground fennel seeds
  • A generous pinch of saffron, crumbled (about 25 threads)
  • 12 littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Season the cod with salt and pepper. Let it sit at room temperature while you prepare the braising mixture.

Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the fennel wedges, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the fennel to a plate. Put the pan over low heat and add the garlic, shallot, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring, until just softened, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the clam juice, potatoes, tomato, liqueur, bay leaf, thyme, fennel seeds, and saffron to the skillet. Raise the heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 3 minutes to start the potatoes cooking. Nestle the cod pieces and clams into the sauce, piling the fennel on top of the fish and making sure all of the potatoes are submerged. Tightly cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil and braise in the oven until the fish is almost cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness.

With a slotted spatula, transfer the cod to 4 shallow bowls. Bring the braising liquid, clams, and vegetables to a brisk simmer on top of the stove, cover the pan, and cook until the clams are opened and the vegetables are tender, 3 to 6 minutes more. Divide the opened clams (discard any unopened ones) and vegetables among the bowls. Add the fennel fronds and parsley to the braising liquid in the pan. Bring to a simmer and pour over the fish and vegetables. -

—Allison Ehri Kreitler

  • from:
    Fine Cooking Annual Volume 3
  • from the experts at Fine Cooking Magazine
  • The Taunton Press 2008
  • $34.95 hardcover U.S. / $44.00 Canada 384 pages
  • ISBN-10: 160085043X
  • ISBN-13: 9781579653576
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

Buy Fine Cooking Annual Volume 3


Fine Cooking Annual Volume 3


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